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Bomber kills Afghan peace envoy

A suicide attacker with a bomb in his turban posed as a Taliban peace envoy and assassinated a former Afghan president who for the past year was heading government peace negotiations with the insurgents.

The attack, carried out in former President Burhanuddin Rabbani's Kabul home, dealt a harsh blow to attempts at ending a decade of war.

The killing of Rabbani, an ethnic Tajik and one of the wise old men of Afghan politics, will blunt efforts to keep in check the regional and ethnic rivalries that help feed the insurgency.

President Hamid Karzai cut short a visit to the United Nations and called on Afghans to remain unified in the face of Rabbani's "martyrdom." An emergency Cabinet meeting was called for Wednesday.

The attack came days after a daytime assault by insurgents on the US Embassy and Nato headquarters that deepened a sense of insecurity in the capital.

Nato said in a statement that two suicide bombers were involved in the attack on Rabbani, both of them men who had feigned a desire to reach a deal with the government.

It was unclear if a second bomber was able to detonate his explosives.

Afghan officials, however, insisted there was only one attacker.

Four men were wounded, including a key presidential adviser, said Mohammad Zahir, the head of criminal investigations for the Kabul police.

Initial reports had four bodyguards killed but Zahir said those were incorrect.

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